Unfair business practices

As unfair competition refers to competition law in a particular form of breach of law. Unfair competition occurs when the behavior of firms in economic competition against good morals. Therefore unfair competition leads to injunctive relief and claims for damages.

Regulation in Germany

The German Act against Unfair Competition ( UWG ) is a historically grown legal norm, the competitors, consumers and other market participants to protect against unfair competition and thereby takes into account the public interest in undistorted competition.

Regulation in Austria

In the Republic of Austria a law against unfair competition ( UWG) was decided. The injured party may sue for an injunction and / or damages. Even further regulations are German legal practice not dissimilar.

BGBl.Nr. 448/1984, as amended by Federal Law Gazette I No. 79 /2007.

Regulation in Switzerland

According to Article 1 of the Act against Unfair Competition (UWG ) is the target of the relevant legislation in Switzerland, " to ensure the fair and undistorted competition in the interest of all parties " (UWG, Article 1).

Principle ( general clause )

Unfairly and illegally, according to the principle in Article 2 of the UWG, " any deceptive or otherwise contrary to the principle of good faith offending behavior or business practice that affects the relationship between competitors or between suppliers and customers " (UWG, Article 2).


Addressees of this law, all individuals in the private and public law. The facts of unfair competition are described in paragraphs 4 to 7 of the UWG. These include for example:

  • Particularly aggressive sales methods
  • Bribery (excluding self-employed )
  • Reduction
  • Misleading
  • Consumer advertising, such as snowball or pyramid system acc. No. 14 of the Appendix to § 3 Paragraph 3 of the UWG: Progressive canvassing ( pyramid scheme, pyramid scheme ); Multi -level marketing ( multi-level marketing ) where the recruiter is to the increased acceptance of more products or services with the promise of special benefits in the event that he wins more customers to the conclusion of similar businesses, causes
  • Loss leaders
  • Imitation
  • Non-compliance with working conditions
  • Titelberühmung
  • Comparative advertising, when it is objectively true and not false or misleading overall impression.
  • An inducement to breach of contract
  • Inducement to breach of contract
  • Injury from manufacturing and business secrets
  • Veiling
  • Utilization of third party services
  • Use of unfair terms and conditions ( GTC)
  • Product addition

See also the judgment of the European Court of Justice in the article Fernabsatzrecht.

Action authorization

From the UWG on one hand a direct action authorization results for directly or indirectly from the unfair competition of a competitor affected persons, on the other hand provides the locus authorized third parties ( eg federal government, key industry associations) the opportunity to make the claim to the opening of proceedings. Direct ( Company / General Manager) or indirectly ( employees / customers ) from unfair competition affected individuals, can make a claim

  • To eliminate unfair behavior,
  • On judicial finding of unfair competition,
  • On the publication of the profit made by the unfair behavior
  • For damages,
  • In particularly serious violation of personal relationships on satisfaction,
  • Injunction.
  • To the publication ( disclosure ) of the judgment by the judge to be determined in scope,

In contrast to the forfeiture of profits, for successful assertion of damages culpable conduct be given, and this behavior must be suitable according to the principle of adequate causal link to, to achieve an appropriate result in the ordinary course of things. Furthermore, the applicant must have been a detectable damage.

Furthermore, after prima facie evidence of an imminent, irreparable damage has occurred an emergency measure and possibly even super provisionally be imposed by the judge's failure and eliminate the unfair situation (without hearing the other side).


According UWG up to CHF 20,000 shall be punished by penance, who violates the pricing obligation.


  • Swiss Act against Unfair Competition ( UWG)